[Chill] XO – The Light

The Light

As he prepares for the release of The Ethereal Experience, UK producer XO dropped off “The Light” earlier today–the final song on the project and also the one truest to the EP’s title. Keeping the vibes soulful as ever, XO crafts a divine groove powered by a steady vocal chop, wavey synths and dynamic percussion. Although “The Light,” initially premiered on XO’s mix for Diplo & Friends, is probably the most laid-back tune we’ve heard from the up ‘n comer thus far, it keeps your attention all the way through by not losing its bounce. Immerse yourself in this blissful cut above–The Ethereal Experience is out on July 20th and can be pre-ordered here.

If you’re digging XO as much as us, also make sure to check out our interview with him from last year here.

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[Chill] XO – Pulling Me Under (feat. Leo Kalyan)

Pulling Me Under (feat. Leo Kalyan)

As he prepares to release his debut EP, UK producer XO premiered a new track yesterday on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show. “Pulling Me Under” displays the up ‘n comer’s versatility bringing in a more relaxing vibe while maintaining a dance sensibility.  XO’s chemistry with collaborating vocalists, in this case Leo Kalyan, shines once again as the tones and lyrics match the musical atmosphere flawlessly. One of the more mesmerizing portions of the song comes around the 1:15 mark when Kalyan’s vocals are warped and looped grabbing the listener’s attention before bringing back the smooth groove. 

“Pulling Me Under” was co-written by XO, Kalyan and rising UK superstar MNEK and cements XO’s spot on our radar of artists to watch in the coming year. If you’re feeling this one, get to know XO in our exclusive interview from a few weeks ago. The Through the Night EP is out December 1st.

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[TMN Exclusive Interview] Get To Know: UK R&Bounce Producer XO

’XO – Through The Night (feat. RobLaw)’

Soul, funk and R&B seem to revive themselves every few years whether it be in hip-hop, electronica or indie music. It is a welcome longevity that doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the breadth of those genres’ influence. A batch of electronic producers from collectives like SoulectionHW&W and FlowFi have been leading the latest revival melding elements of EDM and hip-hop with soul and ’90s R&B influences in what’s been referred to as Future Bounce and Emotional Dance Music.

Over the last 6 months or so, UK producer Sunil Heera, aka XO, has been building quite the audience on his SoundCloud with his unique R&Bounce style. Although it certainly fits with the current direction of electronic music, his sound has broader influences in house and garage reflecting a diverse musical background. His latest single “Through the Night,” off his upcoming debut EP of the same name, serves as a perfect introduction to XO’s music. The bouncy, soulful and sexy production on the cut match RobLaw‘s voice to perfection in part because XO also works closely with his vocalists in the songwriting process.

Get to know this up ‘n coming talent in our exclusive interview below. Through the Night drops on December 1st and can be pre-ordered via iTunes HERE.

TMN: What is your first musical memory? And when/how did you get into making music?

XO: Hmmm, probably dancing around my living room to the Spice Girls with my older sister, I must’ve been like 3/4 years old or something, don’t judge me.

I’ve always been a music fanatic for as long as I can remember, so I guess the initial interest in actually making my own stemmed from there. I started producing casually in my early high school years, purely out of curiosity I suppose. The idea of creating music from my own bedroom intrigued me, so I thought I’d give it a little go!  A couple of years later, once I’d reached a point of consistency with my production skills, I started out as XO and after a period of self discovery, here I am!

TMN: You seem to be pretty involved past just the production of your tracks. How did you go about constructing “Through the Night”? What’s your collaboration approach with vocalists more broadly? 

XO: Yeah totally, I’m a songwriter just as much as I am a producer nowadays. “Through The Night” started off as a simple chord sequence as most of my tracks do. During the developmental stage, I got a general feel for the vocal melody and began to pencil in the lyrical content. The track concept itself was perfect for RobLaw’s voice, so we just had to work together again!

My collaboration approach with most vocalists is similar to the one I’ve just described, I like to get an initial idea first of all, and then build and refine it with them. Although, there’s no set procedure to how these things work, every song you write or produce is different – going with the flow is the best thing to do.

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